MH Daily Bulletin: January 17

January 17, 2023 • Posted in Daily Bulletin

News relevant to the plastics industry:

At M. Holland

  • M. Holland is the headline sponsor for AMI’s Thermoplastic Concentrates in Orlando on Jan. 24-26. Stop by Booth #16 to speak with our experts and attend a talk on regulatory compliance changes by Christopher Thelen, M. Holland’s Senior Regulatory Specialist, on Jan. 24 at 4:20 pm.
  • M. Holland will be exhibiting at MD&M West in Anaheim on Feb. 7-9. Stop by Booth #4115 to meet our Healthcare team and discuss how M. Holland’s line of medical-grade resins can help you develop safe and effective medical products and packaging.
  • Every year, M. Holland’s market managers take time to reflect on the major trends of the past 12 months. Click here to read our 2023 series, including business insight and recommendations for 3D printing, automotive, color and compounding, electrical and electronics, healthcare, packaging, rotational molding, sustainability, and wire and cable.  


  • Oil prices fell 1.3% Monday as easing COVID-19 restrictions in China raised hopes of a demand recovery in the world’s top crude importer.
  • In mid-morning trading today, WTI futures were up 0.9% at $80.55/bbl, Brent was up 1.9% at $86.08/bbl, and U.S. natural gas was up 8.6% at $3.71/MMBtu.
  • U.S. natural gas production is expected to grow more than 2% this year to a record daily average of 100.3 billion cubic feet, the Energy Information Administration says.
  • U.S. retail prices for gasoline and diesel are forecast to decline the next two years, according to the U.S. administration:
EIA expects U.S. gasoline and diesel retail prices to decline in 2023 and 2024
  • A survey of 1,000 energy professionals pegged the average forecast for oil prices through 2027 at $90/bbl, with $87/bbl forecast for 2023.
  • China’s Panjin Haoye Chemical shut down its entire oil and refining complex after an explosion on Sunday killed five people and left eight missing.
  • Exxon Mobil is preparing to approve its fifth oil project in Guyana, the world’s fastest-growing oil region since Exxon made its first offshore discovery there in 2015. Top energy companies in Asia and Europe are also looking at Guyana investments, according to reports.
  • Electricity constraints are slowing plans to run Canada’s first LNG export terminal on renewable power.
  • More oil news related to the war in Europe:
    • European traders are rushing to fill tanks with Russian diesel ahead of a Feb. 5 ban expected to tighten global supplies and increase price volatility.
    • Russia’s seaborne crude exports soared 30% last week to the highest level since April, suggesting the country has overcome an initial hit to flows that followed tighter European sanctions.
    • High fuel stockpiles in China are forcing more importers to direct natural gas to Europe, where prices fell 12% Monday to the lowest level in 16 months:
EU Natural Gas
  • Moscow’s critical oil revenue is under further pressure with the average crude price the government uses to calculate its taxes down to a two-year low at $46.82/bbl.
  • Germany’s hard coal demand from coal-fired power stations rose by 16% last year, the second straight yearly rise.
  • India’s imports of Russian crude hit a record-high 1.2 million bpd in December, about 33 times higher than the same time last year, after new Western sanctions on Moscow led to deep discounts on Russian fuel.
  • Surging household gas bills in the U.K. are unlikely to return to pre-invasion levels due to new windfall taxes on energy producers and an industrywide shift to greener energy, according to Equinor.
  • The EU aims for member nations to start jointly buying gas by mid-2023, part of an effort to help countries refill storage and avoid a supply crunch next winter.
  • Europe is falling behind on plans to launch a new LNG price benchmark due to a lack of data from market participants, officials said.
  • Germany signaled support for a Spanish plan to reform Europe’s electricity market by decoupling the cost of renewable power from gas prices, preventing renewable sources from benefiting from higher prices linked to gas.
  • Global investment in clean energy technology needs to soar to $4.5 trillion by the end of the decade for countries to have a shot at reaching net-zero 2050 goals, the International Energy Agency says.
  • Thyssenkrupp’s plant engineering unit plans to double sales over the next several years with a focus on building more sites for the production of ammonia, a key feedstock for green hydrogen.
  • German lawmakers are being pressured to exempt CO2 from anti-dumping laws to allow the gas to be exported and stored underground.
  • Shares of British energy storage company ITM Power plunged 13.5% Monday after the firm announced a third profit warning in less than eight months.

Supply Chain

Domestic Markets

International Markets

  • In the latest China news:
    • China’s economy grew at a weak but better-than-expected pace of 2.8% in the fourth quarter, dragging down full-year growth to 3%, a near 50-year low.
    • Experts say the nearly 60,000 COVID-19 deaths China reported for the first five weeks of its current outbreak could be undercounted by hundreds of thousands.
    • The nation’s Lunar New Year will bring a wave of more than 2 billion trips across the country in coming weeks, raising fears of a sharply expanding COVID-19 outbreak.
    • Authorities say they will boost funding for COVID-19 prevention and control, especially in rural and low-income areas facing an incoming wave of the virus.
    • New home prices in China’s 70 major cities dropped by an average of 1.5% in December, marking one of the steepest declines in nearly eight years:
China Newly Built House Prices YoY Change
  • Moody’s predicts the economies of Germany, Italy and Slovakia will shrink below pre-pandemic levels as part of a “mild” recession this year.
  • German wholesale price inflation rose to 12.8% year over year in December, the softest rise in 1.5 years:
Germany Wholesale Prices YoY

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